Cancer is a serious health threat facing today’s firefighters. Studies have shown that firefighters have an increased risk of developing several types of cancers, due to the occupational hazards they face. However, there are steps firefighters can take to protect themselves and their crew.
The National Volunteer Fire Council and International Association of Fire Chiefs’ Volunteer and Combination Officers Section released the Lavender Ribbon Report to present 11 specific actions firefighters need to take to lessen their risk of occupational cancer. Make these standard operating procedures in your department. The Lavender Ribbon Report Update, released in September 2021, takes things a step further by sharing personal stories, examples of how departments are implementing the best practices, and other information to reinforce the actions firefighters need to take to lessen their exposure risks.